Darren Sammy’s Pashto tweets are a sight for sore eyes1,276 views
Who would have thought West Indian all-rounder and Peshawar Zalmi’s own Darren Sammy would let loose a barrage of Pashto words?
Darren Julius Garvey Sammy has names invoking images of great leadership, and in October 2010 he became the first cricketer from St Lucia to be named West Indies captain. Rather fittingly, in what was a highlight of his career, he went on to lead West Indies to their first world title since the 1979 World Cup with a stirring victory over hosts Sri Lanka in the 2012 World Twenty20 final.
Sammy is in fact the first international cricketer to emerge from St Lucia, an island rediscovering its cricket culture as the new Beausejour Stadium has captured imaginations. He won a one-day cap in England in 2004 – although there wasn’t actually any play in the match, it counted as the toss was made – and was called up late to the Champions Trophy squad in September 2004 after Jermaine Lawson pulled out with a stress-fractured back. In July 2006, he was named as St Lucia’s captain for West Indies’ first-ever Twenty20 tournament and was recalled for the tour of England in 2007. After missing the first two Tests, Sammy was drafted into the side for his debut at Old Trafford, and celebrated with 7 for 66 in the second innings – a performance that included three wickets in a single over. St Lucian fans had their first opportunity to see Sammy in an ODI in his home country when he played at Gros Islet against Sri Lanka in 2008.
In the next two years, Sammy struggled to hold down a place in the Test side while remaining a fairly permanent fixture in the one-day team. Playing for a weakened team against Bangladesh in 2009, he ended the two-Test series with 12 wickets. Further success with the ball came on Zimbabwe’s tour of the Caribbean in 2010, as he became the first West Indian to take five wickets in a Twenty20 international. West Indies went on to lose that game, but Sammy’s bowling in the one-day series which followed – he took eight wickets at 12.50 and an economy rate of just 2.85 – was a major factor in the home side’s win. He was also one of the bright spots in West Indies’ whitewashing by the South Africans later that year, although this time it was his batting that grabbed the attention: he scored his runs at a strike-rate of 145.31, and registered the fastest ever half-century by a West Indian in the second ODI at North Sound, very nearly snatching an unlikely win.
After Chris Gayle did not sign a central contract in 2010, Sammy was named captain of the Test and one-day teams. He did lead West Indies to their first Test win in two years, taking seven wickets against Pakistan in Providence in 2011, but overall the results were disappointing. Though West Indies won six in a row – against New Zealand (at home), Bangladesh and Zimbabwe – they then lost heavily against India and New Zealand (away). With Sammy’s performances with bat and ball being less than impressive, he was replaced as Test captain by Denesh Ramdin in May 2014.